Tech history talk to focus on Russia in WWII and today

Nov 3, 2011 | General News, Liberal Arts

Dr. Laurie S. Stoff, an assistant professor of history at Louisiana Tech, will serve as the inaugural speaker for the department of history’s Faculty Lecture Series for this year as she presents “The Eternal Flame of Memory: The Politics of World War II in Today’s Russia.” Stoff will speak at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8 in Wyly Tower Auditorium. Focusing on world affairs, the goal of the History Faculty Lecture Series was created to inform the community about the historical background of current events.  Additional lectures in the series will take place during winter and spring quarters. According to Stoff, the experience of World War II remains a major issue in Russia today.  In fact, this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, an event that Russians today continue to commemorate as an extremely significant moment in their country’s history.  The Russian casualty count of approximately 20 million greatly exceeded the losses taken by other participants in the conflict. Memory of the war is highly controversial and politicized, Stoff said.  It continues to be shaped by Moscow’s strategic interests, particularly the desire to restore Russia to the prominent position on the world stage it enjoyed before the end of the Cold War.  Among other things, she said it is reflected in an increasingly more aggressive foreign policy toward Russia’s neighbors. A member of the Tech faculty since 2006, Stoff is a graduate of George Washington University.  She received the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history at the University of Kansas.  At Tech, Dr. Stoff teaches courses in world history, Russian and East European history, women’s and gender history, and gender studies.  She also serves as associate executive editor of “Minerva: Journal of Women and War.” Stoff is the author of “They Fought for the Motherland: Russia’s Women Soldiers in World War I and the Revolution,” which was chosen as an alternate selection of the History Book Club. Admission is free and the public is invited.